Sunday 1st August 2021
10th Sunday after Pentecost

2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a; Psalm 51:1-13; Ephesians 4:1-16; John 6:24-35

(Alternatives: Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15; Psalm 78:23-29)

“Whistleblowing” as it is often called, has become a significant issue in today’s world of work. It can often be difficult to speak out against malpractice and organisational failings, yet a spirit of openness and honesty is a vitally positive and beneficial element in workplace culture.

The Old Testament story of Nathan and David reminds us that this is no new issue; David had appallingly abused his power and influence, setting himself on a downward spiral of wrong behaviour that eventually cost a man his life. Prophet or whistleblower, Nathan stands for the truth, reminding the reader of God’s longstanding call to be a people of truth and justice. So a congregation might pray for those who struggle with this painful and difficult issue today.

The two alternative Old Testament readings reflect a common, if often unjustified, caricature of today’s workplace community; a management figure who abuses his power and influence, and a community who grumble against those who lead them, losing sight of the broader context in which their immediate circumstances exist. The various readings combine to remind us that many of the human behaviours and tendencies that we encounter within the world of work, are not ignored within the Word of God - this provides a context for a congregation to reflect and pray on their own struggles and challenges within everyday life and living. The New Testament epistle summarises this reality with the words “live a life worthy of your calling”